Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Friday said he's willing to give Attorney General Jeff Sessions the "benefit of the doubt" over his decision to have a federal prosecutor, rather than a special counsel, to investigate the FBI's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in its investigations.
"I think the burden is now on the attorney from Utah, who is a U.S. attorney, to prove that we don't need a special counsel by doing his job," Gingrich told Fox News' "Fox & Friends," about the investigator, John Huber.
"If he does his job really well and really aggressively, people will relax. If he doesn't do his job, you will see a whole new demand for a second independent counsel."
Gingrich said when he was House speaker, he opposed the use of special counsels, and still believes "they are dangerous and create work and threaten innocent people."
The former speaker also Friday spoke out about congressional Democrats' blocking President Donald Trump's nominees, noting that Republican senators are calling for more action to get them confirmed.
"I think we're at an historic turning point," said Gingrich. "We have tolerated [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer behaving as though he is the majority leader well over a year. This is an unprecedented assault on American representation in terms of ambassadors, in terms of filling slots in the government. It is totally unacceptable."
The burden on Senate Republicans is to either radically shorten the minority's methods, or to force Schumer to "voluntarily go along," said Gingrich, as "it is a disgrace that the U.S. Senate has tolerated this."
Gingrich also spoke up in defense of incoming national security adviser John Bolton, noting that the polarizing figure has been "such a strong, vivid person on Fox News, that it is easy to forget that he was also in the Justice Department, he was in the State Department, he was an ambassador to the United Nations."
With such experience, Bolton will be very good in his new posting, Gingrich believes.
"He understands, with people as strong as [Defense] Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo, he isn't going to run over anybody, but work intelligently with the others," said Gingrich.
"He was so aggressive on Fox News for so many years it gives him a little bit of a caricature. All of us that know him very well pull his chain a little bit."
Gingrich on Friday also commented on fired Veterans Affair Secretary David Shulkin and his media appearances after his firings this week, particularly on privatizing the VA's health services.
"[Veterans] should not be trapped in a bureaucracy, particularly one with some of the tragic consequences of some of the hospitals around the country," said Gingrich.
"I'm really surprised how much Shulkin has come down in favor of the old order he knows perfectly well how much corruption and inefficiency there was there. I hope the president's new nominee was going to have a very, very strong deputy and I hope they're going to continue to move toward a very simple model."
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